Women Entrepreneur’s summit inspires women on campus

Entrepreneurship isn’t for everyone.
“Courage and risk. You cannot be an entrepreneur if you can’t take a risk. I’m talking about scare-the-c***-out-of-yourself risk,” said Mackenzie Fogelson, owner of MackWeb Solutions, a web marketing and design company in Fort Collins.
She said there are no rules or guarantees to starting your own company. Her approach to failure is like a “serendipitous journey,” claiming that winning and losing is all relative.
She and other speakers from across the country came to support the growth of women-led businesses as part of CSU’s second annual Women Entrepreneurs’ Leadership Summit (WELS) on Oct. 17. Hosted by the university’s College of Business and Institute for Entrepreneurship, the event hoped to spread awareness of the challenges facing women in business.
“The purpose of the event is to help increase the number of women entrepreneurs as well as enlightening faculty, students and community,” said Charisse McAuliffe, Director of WELS.
A number of the speakers last year were from the Fort Collins area –– this year, the summit attracted speakers from Boulder, Denver, New York and San Francisco.Debra Benton has written nine books and worked with some of the top companies in the world including Campbell Soup, Microsoft and Dell Computer. She works with people to help them become successful in business.
“There is a universal attitude that successful leaders have in life: expect acceptance. I am anti- victimization mentality, but I do believe you have a god given right to expect acceptance for what you bring to the table and who you are,” Benton said.
Benton believes that leaders stand out. She encouraged the women and the few men in the audience to believe that they are adequate right now, today. Bringing the audience to laughter, Benton inspired listeners to approach life undaunted.
“Everything is in your control. No one can take that away from you. You teach people how to be good to other people, as you are good to yourself and that is what this is all about,” Benton said.
The range of speakers encouraged women to take charge and to believe in their capabilities. They were given insight into strong giveback models and taught how to be profitable.
“I have four pages of notes to use to implement at work and comments for my children,” said Kelly Mapes, a Fort Collins resident.
Collegian Writer Cassandra Whelihan can be reached at news@collegian.com.